A Jackson elementary school will change its name from one that honors Confederate leader Jefferson Davis (left) to one that honors former President Barack Obama.

An elementary school in Jackson named for the president of the Confederacy will be renamed after the nation’s first black president next year.

Davis IB Elementary School PTA president Janelle Jefferson told the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees at a meeting Tuesday night that the community voted to change the school’s name to Barack Obama Magnet IB Elementary School.

In September, the board approved a policy that gave the PTA and community the option to rename Jefferson Davis, George and Lee elementary schools. Davis is named after Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.

The current board policy on naming schools states they must be named “for persons of good character and prominence who have made outstanding contributions to the school
system,” and a “facility named to honor a person shall not be renamed except for compelling reasons.”

“Jefferson Davis, although infamous in his own right, would probably not be too happy about a diverse school promoting the education of the very individuals he fought to keep enslaved being named after him,” Janelle Jefferson told the board during the public comment portion of the meeting.

During the 2016-17 school year, the last for which enrollment figures are available, JPS’ student population was 96 percent black.

Jefferson said the PTA solicited requests for names during a Sept. 21 meeting. Parents, students, and staff submitted ideas to the PTA via email. The Davis community had two weeks to submit their suggestions, and voted for their candidate of choice on Oct. 5 using paper ballots, she said.

Before the vote, students from each class at the school gave presentations on the name they most preferred.

“We really wanted to know what they thought,” Jefferson said. “They could relate to Barack Obama because of his achievements, because he looks like them.”

The PTA made the final decision on Oct. 6, she said.

Board counsel Dorian Turner said the new name will not go into effect until the 2018-19 school year.

The PTA and school district need to work out how and when to change signs, websites, and fundraise to put all the changes in place.

“You won’t see anything happen in terms of a formal name change until next year,” Turner told reporters after the meeting.  “They’ll spend the rest of this year doing the formal work to make it happen.”

Interim board president Camille Stutts-Simms said she approved of the change and described it as a “monumentous move.”

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Kayleigh Skinner joined the Mississippi Today team in January 2017 as an education and legislative reporter and advanced to a senior staff member in her four years with the company. Before joining Mississippi Today, Kayleigh worked at The Hechinger Report, Chalkbeat Tennessee, and The Commercial Appeal. She has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC Newsday Radio to discuss her reporting.

66 replies on “Obama’s name to replace Jefferson Davis on Jackson elementary school”

  1. Why would a school be named after a traitor to the United States in the first place?

    Wouldn’t be because of racism, would it?

    1. Lol love the snowflakes. Obama isn’t a traitor. Stop spouting off at the mouth or give proof of what you claim

  2. I cant wait for Trump to get a school named after him too! Im thinking something along the lines of “The Donald Trump School for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Want to Do Other Stuff Good Too”.

      1. Maybe you can get your head out of your ass and realize that the turd with ears nearly destroyed the economy and is a racist asshole. I hate obamad guts.

        1. Maybe you can get your head out of your ass and realize Obama created jobs and is not racist. He just made idiots like you show your true racist colors. Stop being a snowflake.

  3. Seems fitting doesn’t it? Remove the name of a racist Democrat and replace it with the name of a racist Democrat. Democrat names are quite interchangeable.

        1. What would a stupid redneck know about paying attention to news? Brainwashed imbeciles who believe reality is fake news, and fake news is real, are too stupid to know how stupid they are. Pathetic.

    1. Something that you overlooked in your eagerness to deflect racism onto the Democrat Party is that the two parties have actually flipped. It was LBJ, a southern Democrat, who pushed for the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Johnson even remarked at the time that the Democrats had lost the South for a generation. He was right. The Republican party, keen to expand its (white) voter base in the south, used racism and resentment over those landmark Civil Rights bills to draw disaffected Democrats over to the Republican Party. Don’t just take my word for it, by all means research Southern Strategy for yourself.

      1. Something you overlooked in your eagerness to project your own feelings of racism onto my comment is that I projected racism on only two people…well, now three people…and not the party as a whole. But now that you mention it, Linden B. “I’ll have those niggers voting Democrat for the next two hundred years” Johnson was a huge racist and notoriously so. He admitted to having no choice but to give blacks a small win so they wouldn’t have to give them a bigger one. It was the Republicans that brought these bills while Democrats fillibustered for 83 days. Ask Al Gore since it was his dad was leading it. You and your party’s feeble attempt to rewrite history will only work on high school kids. You’ll have to wait for the rest of us to die off. Democrats – the party of slavery, Jim Crowe, Separatists, the Southern Manifesto, and the KKK. Republicans – the party of Lincoln, reconstruction, anti-lynching laws, and the civil Rights act of 1875, 1957, 1960, and 1964. Not all Republicans were so noble but holy shit Democrats are racist.
        Fuck Republicans too. They’ve lost their way and their morals have fallen in with the Democrat party. I’ll never vote for either one.

        1. Obviously you did not research Southern Strategy or cover anything forward from that point either. As I said before, the parties flipped.
          To illustrate that ‘flip’… David Duke (former head of the KKK) didn’t change his attitudes, nor his ties to other white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, but he did change his party affiliation (Dem. to Rep., 1989). He subsequently ran as a Republican for Louisiana Senate seats in 1990 and 2016, and for Louisiana governor in 1991. He was also at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville a couple of months ago where he stated that the event was “the fulfillment of President Trump’s vision for America”.

          1. States bogus claim, then states to illustrate that claim I’ll give you one example of a racist (from the Democrat party mind you) that switched parties and ran and barely won as a Republican even though prominent Republicans (Reagan, George Bush Sr. supported his primary challenger, Treen, instead of Duke. They even challenged his win in court. This myth has been debunked (even by the New York Times) over and over and yet, you democrats bring it up over and over knowing it is simply fantasy.
            In fact, it was Nixon that reduced the number of black students attending all black schools from 68% down to 8% and yet we are to believe he is a racist and somehow coerced an entire party to become racist along with him? Nixon desegregated the schools.
            I’ll end this right here and now…I’ve listed an extensive, though nowhere near complete, list of racist atrocities conducted by the Democrat party. Where is the Republican list? I mean, you said they’ve been racist since the 60’s right? Should be easy to look something up. I can simply point to the voting records of Democrats throughout history. I bet you’re only going to find anecdotal propaganda, the lifeblood of your party.

      1. Really? How interesting. Do you define a racist as someone who informs an ignorant person of the truth about the party they’re politically affiliated with or is it that you’ve been trained to say that to anyone you disagree with? Are you going to go with Nazi next? Oh the anticipation.

        1. But your not informing anyone of any truths you’re spouting parts of information that fit your beliefs. I always keep an open mind when it comes to others opinions except when they are spreading misinformation and hate. But have a nice day, I don’t have time to for your obvious ignorance.

          1. Yeah, no time because you’re so busy running around the internet calling anyone who doesn’t see Obama as a god like you, a racist while you think you’re the one with an open mind. Your words and those of your party have become so cliche. Talk about the worst president ever and get called a racist.You’re a broken record. Boring. You’ve nothing of substance to continue this conversation anyway, so go point your finger and call everyone a racist as your party implodes right along with the Republicans as most everyone else is waking up and realizing you’re all being played.

  4. “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

    George Orwell’s 1984 is alive and well. Thanks liberals

    1. lol. The falsification of history that Orwell was speaking about is exactly the kind of revisionism the Neo-Confederates undertook.

      1. You can’t erase history. It defines us and should not be erased. Even for Obama. The man hates our Country.

        1. History is the story of events. We erect statues and name buildings to to honor men. To put Confederates, who rejected the principles of freedom and liberty, on the the same pedestal as those who died defending them, is to honor tyranny. The only erasing of history was the attempt to hide the true cause of the Civil War by placing tyrants alongside heroes. Obama doesn’t hate this country, but your hatred and obsession of him is obvious. Can’t help but notice how our wonderful President is treating the black widow of a fallen soldier this week. Shameful!

          1. You want history? Here’s the true history.

            “Our new government is founded upon exactly [this] idea; its foundations
            are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro
            is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the
            superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new
            government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this
            great physical, philosophical, and moral truth”– Alexander Stephens, VP Confederate States.

          2. We could only hope the media would give Trump a fair shot but nope, they covered, colluded and misguided 8 years for Obama. His day of reckoning is coming soon enough with the Clinton’s selling off uranium. It’s rearing it’s ugly head again.

          3. Dude please educate yourself about snopes. They ARE FAKE NEWS and while you are at it, turn off CNN too.

            Guess you will believe anything. lol

          4. Dang man, you are so far down your own rabbit hole that you will literally believe anything as long as its even slightly negative towards Democrats in any way. Ill bet you get your “news” from places like InfoWars, Rush and Breitbart, and then you have the audacity to come in here and tell people that sites like Snopes or CNN are “fake”. If you dont get your news from those sites, I would be VERY interested in where you are getting your info from…however I have a feeling you will respond with “Do your own research!” because you are too embarrassed to divulge your real source of information.

            Let me ask you, how do you define “fake”? Because you conservatives seem to be confused on how to use it when talking about the news. Is “fake” news not real at all? Or is it real, but you believe it to be irrelevant, and thus “fake”? Or is it real and relevant, but because its negative towards Trump, its then “fake”?

        2. No where has Obama stated he hated our country. You idiots just hate change and want the world to be racially divided

          1. Their world IS racially divided – that’s why Obama threatened them so, and why they don’t want to change – why the idea that Black Lives might Matter is terrible and why White Nationalists ‘are good people’. Their world was threatening to fade from relevance, and it made them afraid. To them, the divided world, where blacks knew their place, was great, and that’s what ‘Making America Great Again’ is all about. As everybody has seen,it’s the ‘Obama’ part of ‘Obamacare’ that they want wiped out; it’s why they think Trump has done so much when the ONLY thing he’s accomplished is to undo executive orders. It’s why they don’t really CARE that trumponomics doesn’t benefit them in any way; that was never the point. It’s why they overlook his lies – he promises to make them members of a race that rules the world. It’s why they don’t care about his utter lack of morality. I’d feel sorry for them, if their goals weren’t so utterly vile.

    2. Are you suggesting people have forgotten the American Civil War? If so, you’re a fu%$ing moron. Changing names on schools, and removing monuments isn’t erasing history, it’s erasing monuments that old racist like you put up trying to venerate other old racists like Jefferson Davis. Suck it!

    3. “My pride is that that flag shall not set between contending brothers; and that, when it shall no longer be the common flag of the country, it shall be folded up and laid away like a vesture no longer used.” – Jefferson Davis. I think if a racist old white traitor can understand that he lost, so can you.

  5. I”m happy with the name change. A negro school should be named after a negro; that prevents tarnishing the good name of Jefferson Davis.

    How about a “Gibs muh dat” high school next.

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